Recently, I began to jump into the world of macOS and, specifically the possbility of running macOS on non-standard hardware.
Traditionally, this concept is dubbed “hackintosh” as it referrs to getting Apple’s OS running on “non” Apple systems.
I have been along the road to this before, and naturally there are a number of questions that are asked right off the bat, so let’s try get those out of the way…
Why would you want to do this? - Well, to me, this is rather simple,: If you have a machine that you would like to run macOS on, and you have a reason to run macOS on it, over another OS such as Windows or Linux. There are (to me) still features and other items which can be done on macOS which are simply not available on other platforms.
How easy is it? - There is certian hardware that makes life a lot easier in hackintosh land, and certain hardware that simply is not possible to use. The short answer is that if the hardware has never been used by Apple before, then it is most likely that the hardware will never be supporte (unless it is brand new and they simply havent used it yet). The difficulty of getting a hackintosh system up and running greatly depends on the hardware you have, and the time you have. Connected to this, getting a hackintosh working takes an EXTREMELY long time (I can’t stress this enough) if you are not willing to put in time and effort to get things working correctly, you will not enjoy or see any reason to attempt this process.
Has it been done before? - Yes, there are lots of resources and sites which detail many steps and processes that can be used to achieve this, however I will be detailing my own experiences here.
I began the adventure to get macOS running on my desktop (again) a few days ago, and I have managed to achieve a (in my eyes) 100% functional macOS system, without needing to change or swap any of the hardware in my system.
In short, the basic steps to the process are:
- Prepping your system
- Getting TO the installer (no, not yet actually installing anything, simply getting to the installer is usually the most difficult part)
- Installing macOS
- Getting all hardware working inside macOS
The last step can be the most tedious and annoying step, requiring a multitude of reboots and config changes, and sometimes even multiple reinstalls.
When doing an install such as this, there are a number of different ways which many people have tried/created/used successfully, however my general opinion is that it is best to do a “vanilla” install, which is essentially using an untouched verison of macOS and only injecting the drivers which you require to get your system functioning. There are a number of “Tools” which will allow you to pick options and configurations to get things working, but this usually means a number of drivers or “kexts” which are unnecessary and may even cause more issues that it’s worth.
In general there are a few guidelines that I have learnt along the way, which can greatly assist in the setup of a hackintosh, which I can detail in a future post.
In a nutshell, that that is the outline for how I like to get macOS up and running, while the process itself can be quite system specific, taking the correct approach when attempting this is vital, as the wrong approach can mean hours of unnecessary troubleshooting.
Some of the resources which I have found which are incredibly helpful are:
https://www.reddit.com/r/hackintosh/ - hackintosh official subreddit (they have an extremely helpful discord too!)
http://www.insanelymac.com/ - InsanelyMac forum.
https://www.osx86project.org/ - osx86 InsanelyMac page.
Let me know if you are interested in a step by step on how I got my hack up and running.
EDIT: Stil trying to find my rhythm writing these posts, feel free to leave comments or suggestions on how I can improve.